After completing its seven-month, around-the-world deployment in support of operations vital to national security on Sept. 8, the USS Olympia fast-attack submarine arrived this week at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton to begin its inactivation and decommissioning process.
The vessel departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for its final homeport change.
“We are very happy to bring Olympia back to Washington, so that we can continue to build and foster the relationships that have been around since her commissioning,” Cmdr. Benjamin Selph said. “The city loves the ship and the ship loves the city, I am glad we have such amazing support as we bid this incredible submarine farewell.”
The submarine’s ability to support a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike warfare, surveillance, and reconnaissance, made it one of the most capable submarines in the world, according to a Navy press release.
During the inactivation process, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility will de-fuel the submarine, with the hull retained in safe storage until decommissioning.
The Navy has three classes of fast-attack submarines, with the Los Angeles-class submarines making up the majority of the force with nearly 40 in commission. As the Los Angeles-class reaches the end of their operational life, the Navy is slowly decommissioning the submarines to make room for the next generation of submarines, the Virginia-class.
Currently, there are 16 active Virginia-class submarines, armed with several innovations that have significantly enhanced its warfighting capabilities, the release states. The third class of fast-attack submarines, the Seawolf-class, are faster and quieter and were developed toward the end of the Cold War. There are currently three in service.
The USS Olympia was commissioned Nov. 17, 1984, and is the second U.S. Navy vessel to be named after the city of Olympia.